Green Moms Take On Sustainable Clothing: Eco-Chic or Eco-Challenged?

September 27th, 2010

Head on over to Diane MacEachern’s Big Green Purse blog today, where you’ll find the latest edition of the Green Moms Carnival, this one devoted to the eco-impact of clothing.

And while in my post, below, I professed a love for Talbot’s, I don’t want you to think that I’m ALWAYS that conservative.  I’m still smiling because of this tweet (with photo) from @juliepower aka @Moms2Work. She  called me a “hot momma.”  (So yes, as you can see, the diet is finally working a bit!)

– Lynn

Greening Your Clothes: Quality Classics or “Crazy” Wins!

September 24th, 2010

When green gal Diane MacEachern proposed that the Green Moms Carnival look at the eco-impact of clothing for this month’s carnival, I hesitated.

When I think eco, I think of organic cotton, bamboo, and hand-me-downs or “vintage.”  But when I look at my closet – especially my professional garb – I see few of those items.  They just don’t cut it for days when I’m out pitching business for my green marketing firm, 4GreenPs.

Anna, Maryanne and Lynn Green Shorty Award

“The Sexy Green Moms” (according to MC Hammer): Anna Hackman of GreenTalk, Yours Truly, center in my Classic Talbots Suit, and Mary Anne Conlin of NotQuiteCrunchyParent in basic black with boots (not shown!)

But of course being a green gal myself, I’m not totally unaware of the impact of my purchases. It’s just that most of the gorgeous organic cotton clothing I’ve found tends to be styled for casual wear, as opposed to professional outings – like the one I went to this morning at DC’s beautiful Willard Intercontinental Hotel, which played host to the Green Business Awards of Greater Washington.

What to do?

I’ve always favored the classics. Perhaps too much so. When I look back at photos of myself in my 20s, clad in Jones New York business suits, I wish I had stepped it up a bit to take advantage of my youth. But in those days, that just wasn’t the route to “shatter the glass ceiling.” Remember that term?

So as you may have guessed, I’m a Talbots fan.  While many women have considered Talbots a tad too conservative, they’ve stepped it up so much that my friend Julie Power from Moms at Work recently blogged, “Talbots, Why Don’t You Suck So Much Anymore?”

Fashion perspectives aside, what I like about Talbots from a “green” perspective is two-fold:

  1. You can find high quality, classic clothing that lasts many seasons.  By the time I’m ready to hand it off to a charity, it’s still wearable clothing (just not for an important business meeting!)
  2. And I’ve yet to find another line that does this – tell me if they do – but I LOVE the fact that Talbots uses the same colors from season to season. This means that if I buy a skirt with brown in it last spring, and then I find a cool brown sweater the following fall, they’ll match. No problem. This enduring quality is what I love. I don’t feel like I’m contributing quite so much to our “disposable” society when I know that I can wear, update and re-wear the same clothes over…and over…and over.

Now, on the flip side, I’ve found that if you buy REALLY crazy clothes, they too, stand the test of time. They’re so crazy, no one else has seen them!

And no, I’m not posting any photos….

Eco friendly clothing. What do you think about it?

Check out a great round-up of posts on eco-friendly clothing over at Big Green Purse on Monday, when Diane runs the September edition of The Green Moms Carnival!

– Lynn

– Lynn

A Wonderful “Case Study” of My Tribe: The Amazing Women of the Green Moms Carnival

September 17th, 2010

One might think that in my fourth “back-to-school” season, I’d have the drill down by now. But no.

Few posts lately as I’m still in “Green Mom Culture Shock” with the saga of the “mandated” Plastic Water Bottle yet unfolding. Today, for instance, Big Boy came home with a bottle of Nestle “Pure Life” flavored bottled water – part of the taxpayer subsidized school lunch program.

But rather than share another rant about the public schools (right now at least), I’m going to share with you a very interesting post written about the women who keep me sane and on The True Green Path: the wonderful women of The Green Moms Carnival. They don’t think it’s strange to avoid genetically modified foods, bottled water, plastic accoutrements, or a host of other things we greenish Moms view as all in a day’s eco-work. As many said in the comments on my “Plastic Water Bottle” post and off-line, they know what it’s like to be That Mom.

So please head on over to Geoff Livingston’s blog to read his case study which calls Green Moms Carnival “a great example of Fifth Estate civic engagement.”

Still not there? Ok, ok, I’ve got to share my quote from Geoff’s blog post.

“We have had employees of large multinationals approach us and thank us for our work, telling us that our demands for safer, greener, cleaner products makes it easier for them to get new innovations approved within their companies,” said Lynn Miller. “We’ve also had CEOs tell us that ours are the voices that are being listened to – that we are an important force for change. It would have been very easy to ‘sell out’ to commercial interests or even non-profit interests given all the interest in the ‘Mom space,’ but our stature as an independent alliance of top green bloggers enhances our credibility, our authenticity, and the uniqueness of our point of view.”

Now, go read the Case Study. And be sure to head on over to Diane MacEachern’s  Big Green Purse on Monday, September 27th when she’ll host the September carnival on “Eco-Impact of Clothing.”

And if you’re like me – still struggling with Back to School adjustments – check out the August Carnival on “Back to School” hosted by Micaela of Mindful Momma.

Enjoy the weekend!

– Lynn

Copyright 2010 OrganicMania 

My Top 10 Tips for a “Green” Labor Day Weekend (And Don’t Forget the Laborers, esp. The Freelancers!)

September 3rd, 2010

Every year, my Labor Day post focuses on eco-friendly tips, but never before have I blogged about the real meaning of Labor Day. So this Labor Day, I’m adding a plea that you think about the many people – contract workers, freelancers, bloggers, writers, and others – who work hard but often don’t get paid for their labors.   As Crain’s New York Business reported this week, “the seemingly simple process of getting paid has emerged as the No. 1 problem facing self-employed workers.”   If you’re someone who works with self-employed people, or if you are one yourself, I urge you to read “Ugh: The Free in Freelance” and to check out the campaign run by the Freelancers Union.

labor-day-comment-10-701884

So this post is a little late..because I made sure to pay the independent workers I employ before putting it up. Would be a little hypocritical otherwise, wouldn’t it?

And now…on to my top 10 Tips for a “Green” Labor Day weekend.

1. Just about the first thing people think about on Labor Day is firing up the grill. This year, skip the burgers and beef hot dogs . The production of beef is a major contributor to three of the four  global warming gases   — carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane.

2. What to grill instead? How about grilling up some wild caught salmon instead of the usual beef?  If you’re at the beach, head to your local seafood shop. If you’re in my neck of the woods – MoCo near DC – check out Whole Foods fantastic saleon Marine Stewardship Council certified salmon, now $3.50 off per pound at $13.49 per pound at the Friendship Heights Whole Foods.   (And if salmon isn’t your thing, how about pasta salad, potato salad, or organic soy-based corn dogs?    Here are some other Labor Day recipe ideas).

3. Need a new grill?  My favorite  tips on solar-powered and other “green grills”are here at Diane MacEachern’s Big Green Purse blog.   And here’s a another great grilling tip courtesy of homespace – when it’s time to clean up, use good ole baking soda, water and a wire brush. Skip the commercial cleaners with their decidely un-earthfriendly chemicals!

4. If you’re still using charcoal grills, reconsider. The prices of gas grills have dropped dramatically – I’ve seen them on sale for just $95 at KMart  – and they’re a more Earth-friendly choice than charcoal.

gas-grillphoto

5. If you must use charcoal, Diane MacEachern suggests using lump charcoal instead of briquettes, which may contain coal dust
and other additives. Diane says to look for hardwood briquettes from forests certified by the Rainforest Alliance’s SmartWood program, or lumps made from coconut husks. Cow boy Charcoal, sold at Lowe’s, Trader Joe’s and under the Whole Foods 365 brand, makes chunk charcoal out of wood leftover from furniture making and construction.

6.

mowingphoto

Need to mow the lawn to make your yard look beautiful? Forget about conventional gas and electric mowers. Go retro with a good old fashioned push mower. Not only will you help to save the planet, you’ll get real exercise too! If you must use gas or electric, how about sharing a mower with your neighbors? (And if your little one wants to copy you, you can borrow the neighbors’ plastic mower. Yes, both mowers in this pic are borrowed! Talk about Reduce, Reuse, Refuse!)

7.

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To some folks, a party’s not a party is not a party without lights. Thankfully, there are more and more  choices for LED lights, including these patriotic red, white and blue starred LEDs I found at Strosniders Hardware.  (No, I didn’t buy them, but they’re cute, aren’t they?)

8. Consider  recycled paper plates. I found the ones pictured above  at my local Giant grocery store in Bethesda, Maryland, and I’ve also seen them at “Party City” stores. They’re priced comparable to  regular paper plates. They’re cute and an eco-friendlier choice!

green-party-warephoto

9. When dusk comes, and you head inside, open the windows instead of turning on the air conditioner. You’ll save money and the environment!

10. If you’re heading back home to the big city after enjoying time at the beach, you may want to check out the local farmers markets and grocers. We pick up organic and local fruits when we are in smaller towns that enjoy a lower cost of living than our big city home town.

Have a great holiday weekend!

Lynn